Johnson Paper

Paper Kite  

Are you looking for a little fresh air, and clean, wholesome recreation this spring?

Do you wish you had something better to do than wasting your time watching reruns on TV?

Does the very thought of doing something you did as a child make you feel just a tad younger?

If your answer is "yes" to any of these questions, then why not make a paper kite?

Ever since a brave Ben Franklin risked life and limb when he flew a kite into a thunderstorm, Americans have loved kite flying. Ben's lucky kite experiment in 1752 proved that lightning was electricity. Luckily, you don't need to risk electrocution to prove to yourself how fun it is to build and fly your very own paper kite.

Today, there's literally hundreds of commercial kite kits available. Remember when box kites used to be really exotic when you were a kid? Now, the sky's the limit when it comes to kite styles, but for our humble little Paper Play project, we're going to stick with the basics and make a classic bow kite. So, if you're ready to fly the friendly skies, let's get going!


1) A big piece of tissue, crepe or light wrapping paper at least 42" x 42".

2) Paste or glue (Elmer's, etc.).

3) Six-ply cotton string.

4) Two sticks of bass, pine, or spruce each measuring 1/4" x 3/8" x 42" (Try your local hardware store, lumberyard, or hobby shop).

5) Scissors.

6) Knife (Boy Scout, steak knife, or anything really sharp).

7) Magic Markers, paints or anything else you can think of to decorate your creation.


This Paper Play Project is a relative piece of cake compared to previous projects. A bigger challenge, however, will be in getting your kite airborne, but we'll worry about that later...

1) Take the two sticks, cut a notch at each end of each stick, and then reinforce these ends with several inches of string, wrapping tightly four or five times to prevent splitting.

2) Next, make a cross with the sticks, attaching one of the sticks (which we'll call the bow stick) 8-3/8" from the top of other stick (which we'll refer to as the spine stick) by lashing the sticks together with string, wrapping tightly.

3) Attach a bow string to one end of the bow stick. Then, carefully bend the bow stick back until the distance between the center of the bow stick and the bow string measures 8-3/8". Wrap up this step by attaching the loose end of the string to the opposite end of the bow stick.

4) Take the string and circle the perimeter of the entire kite frame by inserting the string in the notches at the end of each stick.

5) Then, cover the front of the kite with paper, laying the kite frame on the paper with the bow stick facing the paper. Using scissors, cut the paper at least 2" outside the string on all the kite sides.

6) Turn about 1" of the margin over the frame string and glue to the main body.

7) Next, attach a bridle string, since your kite is tailless. To attach the bridle string, tie the bridle string at the lower end of the spine at a point about 7' from the top of the kite. Then attach the flying line tightly knotted at a point slightly above the corner of the kite.

8) If you want to express your artistic talents, it's time for the markers or paints. Let dry and you're finished. Then, wait for a good spring wind and go fly your kite!


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